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If winter is your favorite season and you love the chilly bite of snow and ice on your face, snowmobiling might be the sport for you! With over 600,000 registered snowmobiles in Canada, a number that’s only going to rise during the COVID-19 winter, it’s time to jump on the bandwagon—or snowmobile—and get started with this fun individual sport.

What is snowmobiling?

A snowmobile is precisely as the name implies—a vehicle designed to operate over snowy, icy, and general wintry terrain. To run effectively in such harsh conditions, these machines are large, heavy, and include deep rubber treads. 

But that’s just the vehicle—what is snowmobiling, the activity that involves the use of snowmobiles? Snowmobiling is the sport-ified version of riding a snowmobile, often meaning a race between snowmobile riders around a track or up a hill. Due to the high-speed races that often result from snowmobiling competitions, it is touted as an extreme sport by some. 

What equipment do snowmobilers need?

Don’t just hop on a snowmobile and drive out to the closest patch of snow you see—as an extreme sport, snowmobiling requires plenty of health and safety measures to be met. 

 

Beyond having a well-kept and reliable snowmobile, riders need licenses before they can hit the trail. Most provinces and states have snowmobile associations, through which you can apply and register yourself and your vehicle. 

You’ll also need the proper gear to handle frigid temperatures. Even if it’s not too bitter cold outside, the wind whipping in your face is going to bite. That’s why snowmobilers often wear bibs (high-waisted pants that act as cushy overalls), jackets, helmets, and insulated gloves and boots. Additionally, riders can wear padding for extra safety. 

Where can I take my snowmobile?

Since snowmobiles require the presence of snow or ice to work effectively, you’re best off searching for wintry terrain or waiting for the first November storm to blow through. You’ll be able to find trails and riding areas for your snowmobile by keeping in touch with your local snowmobile association. For beginners, it’s important to go snowmobiling in a group. That way, you ensure your safety and can learn from others.